Nordic Capital Becomes New Owner of Permobil

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Permobil International AG, the Swedish Foundation for Technical Aid for Disabled Persons has agreed to transfer all its holdings of 75 percent of the shares of Permobil to Nordic Capital Fund V. The remaining 25 percent will be sold by Handinter Gamma AG, owned by the sons of Permobil's founder Per Udden, and members of the corporate management.

The transfer of ownership signals greater growth ambitions and the company's onward progression, providing the conditions for further expansion. The corporate management will become partners of, and remain with, the company.

"This is a very promising segment of the health care sector; we will be supporting Permobil's efforts to sharpen competitiveness," said Toni Weitzberg, partner, Nordic Capital. "We will back Permobil's onward expansion by building on its successful strategy in specialized powered wheelchairs and entering new markets. There are great prospects for the company to make further progress. Permobil's strong brand will give the business the opportunity to grow on new and existing markets."

Permobil, founded in 1963 by physician and inventor Per Uddén, has produced and supplied power wheelchairs for more than 40 years. The corporation is established on the global market through subsidiaries in locations such as the United States and across much of Europe.

"We think this is a good solution. We have traced an uninterrupted curve of high organic growth and good profitability since 1995, but we still think there is a lot left to do," said Anders Udden, Permobil's chairman and former CEO.

Hans Bergh, Permobil's CEO, said the company is delighted to have Nordic Capital as the new owner. "They are very interested in our business and believe in our future activities," he said. "Moreover, they have got extensive experience of developing enterprises, and bring industrial expertise and financial resources. We want to grow on new markets and through product development. Over the years, the foundation has made unparalleled efforts to develop the business, and with our new owners, we will gain new prospects to make even faster progress. Nordic Capital's view of Permobil is very consistent with our own ambitions."

The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction value. The acquisition is conditional on Competition Authorities' approval.

This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of HME Business.

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